Archive for November, 2009

I feel so normal

November 29, 2009

     Today I met another kind of single senior. I’m staying with friends and their cousin visited overnight. He’s just a little older than me, but not anchored in today. Not that he has dementia. He’s just living in the past. He spoke about a month in Oxford as if it were a few years ago. He went in the 1970’s. I am loquacious enough to make conversation with a wall. But he had me stumped. At first I thought he was hard of hearing. When he did respond to a prompt, it was with a nonsequiter. Was he for real or a character cut out of Seinfeld? He did want to date but couldn’t find anyone in “his group.” I finally gathered that meant an Eastern European Jew, kind of a small pool when you’re already an odd person. He joined groups to meet people. He wondered why whenever he became friendly with a woman she disappeared or told him she was married. Even though he was very hard to be with, it was touching that he still wanted a special someone. And sad. What are the chances that such a person will meet a special someone? Most of the normal people I know have had a hard time doing that.

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Looking for Mr. Right Now

November 28, 2009

No longer Looking for Mr. Right

    By Annie Weissman

 

I am sixty-one and no longer looking for Mr. Right. I’m looking for Mr. Right Now. I was divorced for the second time seven years ago. After two years I dove back into the dating world after losing thirty pounds. I was still full figured, big-boned, chunky, curvy, voluptuous, and any other name including fat.) I had recently started to believe I was attractive; men in Home Depot were striking up conversations. I went to a few Singles Dances and found most Baby Boomer men were still looking for Barbie. I had a blind date with a guy who told me all his murderous thoughts about his ex-wife. I tried speed dating, where I got to be rejected by a whole room of guys.

I followed my interests but did not find them conducive to meeting men. I worked at an elementary school, I loved to quilt, I went to the gym (this may work for women with great bodies,) and I had season tickets for the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury. At Suns games the guys were intent on the game, not meeting women. They did covet my seats in row 12 but not me. The Phoenix Mercury games attendees are fifty percent gay, twenty-five percent mature heterosexual couples, and twenty-five percent families. I went to a University of Rochester alumni cocktail party where no one was within twenty years of my age. They were either recent graduates or extremely senior citizens. I enjoyed all these activities but met no one to date.

Though the Internet I met a guy who refused to date anyone who wasn’t interested in marriage. He had “wasted” two years with a woman already. I wasn’t willing to commit on the first date! I thought I had stumbled on a winner when I met Scrabble Man but he e-mailed me all the two letter words because he had already memorized them. Too intense!

I did meet a nice guy whom I dated for over two years. He lived in Scottsdale and worked at least half of each month in Chicago. This was perfect for me. I worked full time and had enough problems at home (a teenage son on drugs and a mother with dementia who lived with me.) I was happy to plan our dates to plays, fine dining, basketball games, and forays to bookstores for which he insisted on paying. We were an intellectual and sexual couple and were good traveling companions. It was not an exclusive relationship. It came to an abrupt end when he broke up, via e-mail, to let me know that he was moving in a woman who was thirty years my junior. So he did want someone all the time. I dropped out of the dating world.

Three years passed. My mother died and I had kicked my son out after he graduated high school and went on to heroin. I missed male companionship, and sex. I had the lap band operation and stayed at 180 pounds. This time around I went through e harmony and jdate. I dated a bunch of guys:  Mr. Math PhD with huge equipment but no affection, The Hot Tamale who used me and I him, and Mr. “I’m So Wonderful” it took two dates to get to 1980 in his life. I picked Coach as the best. He was sixty-eight, played a good game of Scrabble, danced like it was aerobic exercise, wrote me poetry, and brought me flowers every week. He told everyone, in front of me, how lucky he was to have found me and it was too bad we hadn’t met while young. I fell in love with having a companion who was independent. I overlooked his egotism which was displayed by constantly talking about himself and his past.

I should have seen the warning signs. He was ecstatic that I was easygoing, financially comfortable, well read, liberal (not that easy to find in Arizona,) and always seemed to have a smile on my face. What this meant for me (but I didn’t know it) was I would pay for more than my part of dates and was allowed no emotional upsets or problems.

We took a vacation to San Diego and I found out that although he was a gym rat he did not have the physical stamina I did to explore the animal parks endlessly. Although he expressed a deep interest in the theater, he was nonplussed at the third row seats I had bought for a musical. He did not want to explore places to dance at night and chose restaurants close to the hotel. I realized that I always found the places to go and things to do. Still, I loved being part of a couple and figured there are always compromises to make things work.

What I didn’t see coming was his phone call a week after our vacation. He said he wasn’t coming over as planned. In fact we weren’t going to see each other anymore. We were too different. He was active and I was sedentary. I loved movies and he had seen more in the past nine months than in the last ten years. I had kept him from his pals at the gym. I was semi-retired and he worked. He didn’t want to discuss it and have negative feelings, so I just said good bye.

I was angry! What did the flowers and poetry mean? Was I so bad at reading other people’s real motives and level of sincerity? What had I done to drive him away? I tortured myself for a few weeks along these lines and then realized I didn’t miss him. I missed the idea of him: having a date every weekend, regular sex, and feeling wanted by a man.

He called several months later to explain his sudden departure. His son, age forty-two, needed him for health and financial reasons and he didn’t have the time for a relationship. I was flabbergasted! I told him he was right, we were definitely different. We each had one child with major problems. By this time my son was clean and putting his life back together. Coach’s approach was to concentrate on his son with no thought to my feelings. My approach would have been to commiserate, emotionally support each other, and each take care of our problem child. I even got to say that I felt emotionally betrayed. He wanted to see me again in three months, when he thought his son would not need the close attention. I said perhaps we could be friends. I felt free enough to date again.

Most of the year I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. However I escape the horrendous summer heat by living in Munds Park, twenty miles south of Flagstaff. This past summer was the first I spent full time in Munds Park. My neighbors were all friendly and very married. I wasn’t asked to dinner or to join them for cards or wine. It’s not that I was a threat to the women. I always viewed other people’s husbands as nonsexual beings. It’s just that Munds Park was a couple’s kind of place.

How large a pool of single guys would there be? I tried match.com. A visiting friend helped me pick a photo and edited most of what I’d written in my profile. She announced that I had no idea of what men would find attractive. She highlighted fishing and traveling and took out my hobbies of reading and quilting.

     I received matches and checked out their profiles. I got up the gumption and to email a few I thought looked like possibilities, deciding that Dewey, Prescott, and Cottonwood were too far to go for a date but I was willing to consider guys from Sedona and Flagstaff.

One fellow from Sedona wanted to meet me right away. He was a widower. Perhaps a widower wouldn’t be tainted with the bad experiences of a failed marriage. We made a date for Sunday afternoon at a Starbuck’s in Flagstaff. He wanted to know how he would recognize me. Not hard, I told him, I looked just like my photo. I guess many women use ten year old pictures. He hadn’t posted a photo, so he’d have to find me.

On Sunday afternoon I stood at the closet and wondered if I should show cleavage. I’ve got quite a bit. Would that be trampy or inviting? I decided to wear the bra that was two sizes too small so it pushed it all up enough to peek out of a not-too-low knit shirt.

     I got to the Starbuck’s first and bought an iced tea. Good, I wouldn’t have to worry about who should pay for it. A silver haired man in a golfing outfit (you know what I mean, irregularly striped and collared shirt) approached me. I liked the look of him and could tell he felt some chemistry, too. He got a cup of coffee and we talked for a few hours. This was a good sign. He had a married daughter in Texas and took road trips to see her. Good, he valued his family. He was retired and played golf three or four times a week and was consumed with conquering the game. Not good. My second husband was a guy who golfed every day that ended in “y”. My golf game was bad and I wasn’t competitive enough to care about getting better. When I felt like I’m holding up the group, I threw my ball at the hole.

     I’m an optimistic person who always gives people the benefit of the doubt. That’s probably why I date guys that other women would ditch after an hour.

     The Widower invited me to continue our date at dinner. We spent another two hours talking. He knew about the world and was willing to discuss issues. This was looking good. There was some sexual teasing going on. A little early, but okay was long as it remained talk. When he walked me to my car he planted a juicy kiss which awakened my libido. He asked me to wait while he went to his car and retrieved a bouquet of flowers. I guess he decided I was worth them. This should have set off insincerity bells. My last boyfriend brought me roses every week and wrote me poems, and then ended our relationship with a phone call after nine months. Beware of a man bearing too many flowers.

     The Widower went into a full court press. He emailed me twice a day and called daily. Had I already found The One?

On our next date there were more flowers and more kissing, and an attempt to steal second base. I was feeling like a teenager on a date. It was flattering but a bit uncomfortable. When I didn’t go to bed with him by the end of the second week, he simply stopped calling and emailing. I realized that he was a Player, preying upon women who were new to a dating website. Lesson learned. Girlfriends, when you join an Internet dating site, the players notice right away. These men figure you are horny and vulnerable.

A month later Coach wrote me a letter with another poem, proclaiming his love and asking to be forgiven. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I had found out I couldn’t tell disingenuousness from sincerity. Besides I didn’t miss him. I wrote him back, granting forgiveness but allowing that there would be no reconciliation.

So I’ve been meeting more fellows but have lowered my expectations. No relationships, just good activity partners and a bed partner. I rejected Macho Man but he became a valuable member of my writing group. I rejected Mr. Supplements because he only talked about the product he sold. Was he using Internet dating as a system for leads? Mr. Snowmobile was fascinated by the fact that I knew basketball and willingly watched the Phoenix Mercury games. Maybe I will come up to the snow this winter and try riding a snowmobile, although his slowest one goes seventy miles an hour.

And I met Mr. Spiritual Journey (of course from Sedona) who says to take it “one date at a time.” Great advice. He is amazed that I don’t want him to call or e-mail me every day. He keeps thinking I’ll get hurt. But I’ve found out he’s a great Mr. Right Now and that’s what I want.

No more looking for Mr. Right. I’m looking for Mr. Right Now to meet some of my needs, and his.

No longer looking for Mr. Right

November 28, 2009

Hello world!

November 28, 2009

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